National League Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, April 11th (All times eastern)
Washington Nationals (7-2) at Atlanta Braves (5-4), 7:35 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Washington - Tanner Roark (1-0, 3.00) Atlanta - Julio Teheran (1-1, 2.77)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The surging Washington Nationals pay a visit to Turner Field Friday to open a three-game set with the Atlanta Braves.
These teams met up last weekend in the nation's capital, where the Braves took two out of three. Atlanta was 13-6 in last season's head-to-head series.
"We obviously understand that we have some things that have to be addressed when we're playing them," Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond said. "But we're going to continue to get better and we'll see how it shakes out the rest of the way."
Washington clubbed its way to a series sweep over the Miami Marlins and enters Friday's series opener in search of a fifth straight win overall. The Nats claimed a 7-1 win over the Marlins on Thursday as starter Stephen Strasburg racked up 12 strikeouts and Ian Desmond hit a grand slam in the eighth inning.
One day earlier, it was Jayson Werth who hit a grand slam in a 10-7 win over Miami.
Nats infielder Anthony Rendon broke the team record for longest hitting streak to begin a season, as he has hit safely in all nine games and is batting .412 (14-for-34).
The National League East Division-leading Nationals are tied with Milwaukee for the best record in the majors at 7-2.
Meanwhile, Atlanta has lost three of its last four games.
On Thursday, the bullpen coughed up a pair of runs late as the Mets rallied for a 6-4 win. On a positive note, left fielder Justin Upton went deep in his first two at-bats against Mets starter Jenrry Mejia.
"The outcome of the game wasn't great," Justin Upton said. "But it's early in the season. There's a lot of ball to be played. We've got to keep our heads up and keep going in the right direction."
Taking the hill for the Braves will be Julio Teheran, who owns a 2.32 ERA in his last five starts against Washington. The right-hander threw 111 pitches in seven innings against the Nats last Saturday and allowed only a two-run homer to Adam LaRoche in the first inning.
Washington's Tanner Roark made his season debut against the Mets last Thursday in place of an under-the-weather Jordan Zimmermann. Roark went six innings and allowed two runs while striking out five. He has yet to allow a run while fanning 12 batters in 13 career innings against the Braves.
04/11 10:26:15 ET